Welcome to autumn.
Yeah, there are trees changing and when I walked out of the house this morning, it was autumn. I don't need a meteorological demigod to tell me that autumn doesn't officially start until the day before my birthday, I have an autumn detector in my soul.
Autumn is my favorite season but it's also the time of the year when I seem to wear my heart on my sleeve. It's the time of the year when I feel able to commune with the dead relatives and trust me, if I say that in a group of people that don't know me very well, it is a definite conversation stopper.
For me, the world slowly comes to a halt as the trees lose their leaves and the sunlight becomes a precious commodity. I can walk in the woods and listen to my footsteps. I can feel the warmth of my blood in my veins. I can acknowledge that there are people that I have lost and no matter how much time passes, I will always miss them.
You can't stand at someones grave in the summer and lay a finger on the very center of your soul. The sun will be shining, the birds will be singing, there will be kids playing nearby to distract you. The same goes for spring. There will be a wiff of potential in the air. A feeling that things will bloom and be beautiful some day soon.
And winter in this part of the world means any lost relatives will be buried under six feet of dirt and four feet of snow.
But autumn is different. Nature is dying, the world is closing in on itself. If you listen, you can hear your loved ones speaking to you. If you listen, you can hear the story of your losses. You can hold them in your hands and lay them against your heart.
My brother committed suicide in autumn many years ago. I always imagine him in the woods, listening to those voices. I can see him with the colors of autumn around him, feeling the death of the world.
It can be dangerous to listen to those voices. To acknowledge how many ways the human heart can break.
It is a sadness that I take comfort in. It's how I know I'm alive.